San Sebastian Gastronomika-Euskadi Basque Country will travel with Elkano and return to San Sebastian with a dozen of the best chefs from countries the illustrious Basque sailor visited.

They include the great American surprise in The 50 Best, the Brazilian who opens her restaurant a few days a month with only thematic and traditional menus and Christina Sunae, a chef with North American, Korean and Philippine influences and a restaurant in Argentina.

Other chefs from countries not visited by Elkano, such as Leonor Espinosa (Leo, Bogotá), Najat Kaanache (Nur, Fez) and Vladimir Mukhin (White Rabbit, Moscow), will also give talks on the Kursaal stage.

Juan Sebastian Elkano had to learn and share on a journey that represented the first round-the-world boat trip 500 years ago. To celebrate this, San Sebastian Gastronomika-Euskadi Basque Country is dedicating its 21st edition (from October 6 to 9) to this Basque with a surname that is so synonymous with gastronomy and culture, emphasising the international presence at the congress, particularly from the countries through which the sailor passed. Some of the best chefs from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, the Philippines and Indonesia will take to the Kursaal stage to share and learn, in an updated snapshot of the melting pot of gastronomic cultures that Elkano found in 1519. As his successor, the other Elkano, another Basque, Aitor Arregi, will be watching from the auditorium.

Following the route, taking part this year at Gastronomika will be Bel Coelho (Clandestino, Sao Paulo, Brazil); Jefferson Rueda (A Casa do Porco, Sao Paulo, Brazil); Carolina Bazán (Ambrosía, Santiago de Chile, Chile); Kurt Schmidt (Restaurante 99, Santiago de Chile, Chile); Christina Sunae (Sunae Asian Cantina, Buenos Aires, Argentina); Sau del Rosario (25 Seeds, Angeles, Philippines); JP Anglo (Sarsa, Manila, Philippines); Kevin Cerkas (Cuca Flavour, Bali, Indonesia) and Ray Adriansyah and Eelke Plasmeijer (Locavore, Bali, Indonesia). Chefs from countries that were not visited by Elkano will also feature, such as Vladimir Mukhin (White Rabbit, Moscow), Najat Kaanache (Nur, Fez, Morocco) and Leonor Espinosa (Leo, Bogotá, Colombia), who returns to the Basque Country after collecting the Basque Culinary World Prize in 2017.

With a few surprises yet to be revealed, we would like to preview the international background of some of the international speakers at San Sebastian Gastronomika 2019:

Leonor Espinosa

Leo (Bogotá, Colombia)

The Colombian will be one of the biggest stars of Gastronomika 19. Having established her restaurant Leo in the top 50 of The 50 Best Restaurant (#49), she continues to head the FunLeo Foundation, which promotes the ancestral know-how of Colombian populations, particularly the indigenous and Afro-Colombian populations. At the foundation and her restaurants (Leo also runs Misia), the chef is one of the world’s standard bearers in the study and promotion of local, gastronomic value of the different ecosystems and culinary traditions of Colombia.

Jefferson Rueda

Casa de Porco (Sao Paulo, Brazil)

With one of the biggest leaps in The 50 Best Restaurants 2019 (from 79 to 39), A Casa de Porco is Brazil’s culinary sensation. Jefferson Rueda and his wife Janaina, who have patented their own style of roasting pork, where their own breed of animal is cooked in the open for up to 8 hours, are in charge of this restaurant dedicated almost exclusively to pork. Rueda will visit San Sebastian to talk about technique and his tasting menu, made up exclusively of dishes from all parts of the pig and with delicatessen products such as Rueda’s pork jowl sushi or his pork tartar. Brazil and cooking over embers. A nod to Elkano the navigator and Elkano the restaurateur.

Bel Coelho

Clandestino (Sao Paulo, Brazil)

As the owner of a different concept of restaurant, Bel Coelho is a dedicated researcher. Having trained at the Culinary Institute of America, she worked at El Celler de Can Roca and Álex Atala’s DOM to build up her own refined style that she now operates at Clandestino, a venue that only opens a few days a month with tasting menus created from her research on native products and Brazilian culture. She is an amazing freelance chef in Brazil who will surely leave her mark on Gastronomika.

Najat Kaanache

Nur Restaurant (Fez, Morocco)

Najat Kaanache, also known as “The Pilgrim Chef” because of her professional career (among others, El Bulli, Noma, The French Laundry and Per Se), returns to her native Basque Country. From a Moroccan family, she returned to Morocco to open Nur and amaze the planet with a “return to origins” of “true authenticity” with the best restaurant in the African country. Kaanache currently runs a number of premises in both Morocco and Mexico City and is an activist for several NGOs.

Rosauro “Sau” del Rosario

25 Seeds (Angeles, Philippines)

At the age of 54, Rosauro “Sau” del Rosario is an emblem of the Philippine restaurant sector, above all for the use of indigenous and sustainable products integrated in a personal style with a strong Hispanic background. Having trained in France, Del Rosario uses French and Western culinary techniques on traditional Filipino dishes, which he works and updates in his restaurants 25 Seeds and Cafe Fleur (both located in the city of Angeles, Philippines). In particular, 25 Seeds works under the concept of “from farm to fork”, with absolutely no intermediaries at all.

Vladimir Mukhin

White Rabbit (Moscow, Russia)

As chef of the thirteenth best restaurant in the world according to The 50 Best, Mukhin returns to Gastronomika where he last appeared in 2015. A proponent of Russian haute cuisine, he recently took a further step towards the nationalisation of his cuisine with the inauguration of Sakhalin also in the Russian capital, where he puts the emphasis on Russian cuisine and products and their influences across the breadth of its geography, from near the Mediterranean to the Arctic and touching on Asia.

Christina Sunae

Cocina Sunae (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Born in the United States, the daughter of an American father and two women – her Korean biological mother and her Filipino foster mother – Sunae grew up between the Philippines and the United States, although she settled in Argentina to pursue a career and cook south-east Asian cuisine. An example of diversity and blending flavours and cultures, Christina Sunae is a cook on the Elkano route, although still unknown in Spain, who is coming to Gastronomika to also explain her new projects: Sunae Asian Cantina in Argentina and a new restaurant in Manila.

Carolina Bazán

Ambrosía (Santiago de Chile, Chile)

One of the phenomena of Chilean gastronomy. With her restaurant Ambrosia at number 24 on the list of The 50 Best Restaurants in Latin America, Bazán has rejuvenated the Chilean restaurant scene with her adventurous and spontaneous approach to food. After establishing Ambrosia, Bazán and her partner Rosario Onetto recently opened a second, more intimate and urban venue: Ambrosia Bistro. It is the present and future of gastronomy in the Andean country.

These are some of the chefs who will be taking part at Gastronomika 2019. There will be more. The melting pot that Elkano discovered will return to the Basque Country updated and rejuvenated. Arregi and the best Spanish chefs will take good note and try to replicate them on the stage.

Gastronomika 2019 travels with Elkano on the 500th anniversary of his circumnavigation of the world

Between October 6 and 9, 2019, San Sebastian Gastronomika-Euskadi Basque Country will hold its 21st edition, commemorating the 500th anniversary of Juan Sebastián Elkano’s route when he circumnavigated the world for the first time. To this end, Gastronomika 2019 will also start with Elkano, in this case the Elkano Restaurant run by Aitor Arregi in Getaria, and then go down to Andalusia and set sail in search of flavours following the original route: the Canary Islands, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, the Philippines, Indonesia, before returning to the Basque Country.

The gastronomic tour will also feature illustrious guests from other parts of the world, as well as the finest constellation of Spanish chefs. To attend the presentations with tastings included (exclusive to Gastronomika) and enjoy the exhibition area – the sector’s preferential networking venue – registrations are now open on the congress website (